He doesn’t throw 100 mph and he doesn’t throw a knee-buckling curve. But Kyle Hendricks is controlled and steady.
The Chicago Cubs had some hope that, despite not having the kind of “stuff” that blows away scouts, he had the makeup of a quality starting pitcher and maybe some sort of intangible “it”.
After a rough start to the 2015 season, Hendricks finally had a shining moment last night against the San Diego Padres, putting up a game score of 84 with a 5-hit, no-walk shutout, striking out 7. Hendricks’ ERA plummeted to 4.14 while picking up his first win of the season, throwing 108 pitches in the process.
A couple of the rookies got it done at the plate, with Kris Bryant (5th) and Addison Russell (3rd) going deep in the 1st and 7th innings, respectively, to account for every run in the 3-0 win.
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Jacob deGrom ruined what could have been a special comeback game for Jaime Garcia, blanking the St. Louis Cardinals in a 5-0 win for the New York Mets.
Garcia – now expected to be the permanent replacement for Adam Wainwright‘s vacated spot in the starting rotation – went 7 strong innings, allowing a pair of runs on 5 hits. He did struggle with his command a bit, walking 5.
But deGrom went 8 shutout innings allowing just a single hit and no walks, striking out 11. At one stretch, he retired 23 consecutive batters. Truly dominant stuff.
The top 5 men in the Cardinals lineup each struck out twice while Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter combined for the only two times a man reached base.
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The highlight from the Milwaukee Brewers‘ 10-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves was reliever Will Smith getting tossed.
That should tell you something.
Matt Garza took the loss, falling to 2-6 on the season with a 5.71 ERA after allowing 4 runs in 6.1 innings of work.
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There was a nice article at the Post-Gazette with some comments from Pittsburgh Pirates‘ middle infielders Neil Walker and Jordy Mercer on the use of defensive shifts. As I stated earlier this week when the Cards’ John Lackey did a little flip out about a ball being hit where the shortstop would have been had the team not been playing an extreme shift to the right side of the infield, for every one team you get beat by the shift, there are a couple of teams where the shift saved you. The numbers don’t lie – batting average on balls put into play keeps dropping, and the advanced scouting and more widely adopted use of shifts is the reason. In fact, giving the numbers so far this season, teams are on pace to employ the shift 7.5 times more often than they did just 4 seasons ago. Read the article here.
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NL Central Leaders
|Ryan Braun (MIL)||29|
|Kris Bryant (CHC)||27|
|Starling Marte (PIT)||27|
|Matt Carpenter (STL)||24|
|Michael Wacha (STL)||6|
|Gerrit Cole (PIT)||5|
|Jake Arrieta (CHC)||4|
|Jon Lester (CHC)||4|
|Carlos Martinez (STL)||4|
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|St. Louis Cardinals||27||14||–||L1|
* * *
|24-18||Mets||Syndergaard (1-1, 3.18)|
|18-22||PIRATES||Cole (5-2, 2.40)|
|6:05 PM CT|
|18-22||REDS||Leake (2-2, 3.62)|
|17-23||Indians||Carrasco (4-4, 4.98)|
|6:10 PM CT|
|15-27||BREWERS||Peralta, W (1-5, 4.32)|
|20-20||Braves||Wood, A (2-2, 3.83)|
|6:35 PM CT|
|27-14||CARDINALS||Lynn (3-3, 2.96)|
|26-14||Mets||Young, Cr (3-0, 0.94)|
|7:10 PM CT|
|23-17||CUBS||Lester (4-2, 3.70)|
|19-21||Diamondbacks||Collmenter (3-5, 5.36)|
|8:40 PM CT|